May 302012

By Naomi Hatch —

The Town of Snowflake was notified by the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA) in December 2011 that it had been awarded a $34,000 planning and design assistance grant for the project that will create a water system infrastructure and energy management master plan. Last week, the town council approved the grant agreement and an agreement with an engineering firm to complete the work outlined in the grant.

At the May 22 town council meeting, Town Engineer Rob Emmett explained that the WIFA grant will provide a maximum of $35,000, with that amount not to exceed 60 percent of the total project cost, and the town must commit $36,481, or approximately 51 percent of the total cost in order to be successful.

Emmett explained that much of this 51 percent will be in-kind and estimated that the town will pay approximately $9,000 of the grant.

“The bottom line,” said Town Manager Paul Watson, “it gives a system in a report that tells us what the inadequacies of our current system are and where our failures possibly could be,” noting that when they start getting beyond just getting by and start looking at the future, they’ll have better tools to identify what that system’s really going to cost. He said that they would have good justification then to ask for an increase in rates for property owners.

Emmett proposed they use Wood Patel & Associates, Inc., as consulting engineers.

A proposed scope of services from Wood Patel provides a partnership with town staff and other contracted employees to complete the work outlined in the WIFA grant in a cost effective and efficient manner, and that their services would include reviewing data collected by the town, preliminary water model layout and calibration, developing water system performance system scenarios based on performance criteria and population growth, responsibility for an energy audit and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and preparing the master plan. The firm’s proposed fee is $35,000.

Emmett explained to Mayor Kelly Willis that the grant was written specifically for the development of the master plan and could not be used for anything else.

The council unanimously approved the WIFA planning and design assistance grant agreement, as well as the professional services agreement with Wood, Patel & Associates in connection with the water system infrastructure and energy management master plan for an amount not to exceed $35,000.